it has its timbre-- how complex or simple, how many overtones go into making up this sound, and what is their relationship and proportions? and it has its duration-- how long does the sound last? if i, as a composer, write a piece, it's decisions about those four parts of each note that really determine which note goes where, how long it is, how high it is, how it relates to the other notes. and now we're really talking about music more than about sound per se. [orchestra plays] (narrator) in western societies, people define music in terms of its basic structural elements: melody, rhythm, timbre, harmony, and texture. however, not all cultures see music in this way. (brown) most cultures around the world-- there's no word for music.